Fellas, if you are happily married or are seeking the love of your life, be prepared to know that “until death do us part” will probably come sooner for you than it will for her.
On average, women in the U.S. live longer than men.
If you’re worried, don’t lose heart.
While longevity depends in large part on genetics, there are other factors to educate yourself about how you and your love can live as long as possible.
Here’s why women live longer than men — and how relationships affect your longevity:
1. The Y chromosome
The female of almost every species outlives the male.
It’s generally because of the two “X” chromosomes that provide women with a backup when a genetic mutation occurs. Men, on the other hand, only have a single “X” chromosome to express all their genes, damaged or not.
It is believed that estrogen serves as almost a protective mechanism against DNA damage, while testosterone does not.
Combine that with a woman’s ability to bear children while men wilt over the simplest cold we don’t stand a chance.
3. Less risk-taking
Men often can’t help themselves and tend to take too many risks, which leads to their demise.
Meanwhile, most women think about the consequences before taking action.
4. Healthy lifestyle
Women also tend to live healthier lifestyles. They often take more care of their overall health and see the doctor regularly.
Now that you understand why your girlfriend or wife will live longer than you, what does that mean for your relationship?
If you are in a healthy, loving relationship it means plenty.
With less stress, our lives are extended.
In a major study surveying 127,545 American adults, researchers at Harvard Medical School “found that married men are healthier than men who were never married or whose marriages ended in divorce or widowhood.”
In part, this is because men in happy relationships have stronger immune systems as a result of reduced cortisol levels.
5. Cortisol exposure
Being overexposed to cortisol can put you at greater risk for several health problems including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.
6. The power of love
When men are in a relationship, they tend to become risk-averse. Even though they take more risks in life, they generally don’t take as many when in a healthy relationship. They also tend to get regular check-ups and listen to the doctor’s advice. (I’m sure your partner has something to do with that.)
Being in a healthy relationship also means they’re likely to have overall better mental health.
It’s no secret men don’t do as well on any level when they aren’t in a relationship.
They tend to be more isolated with less social interaction, which can lead to loneliness and depression. A happy relationship combats this dilemma because it balances a sense of independence and willingness to rely on one’s partner.
Men are socialized to be independent, but emotionally relying on others is critical for all well-being. The relationship brings additional self-confidence and provides positive validation and reassurance.
When men can cultivate an enhanced quality of life sparked by a deep emotional connection with a woman they love, their mental and physical health is more likely to remain intact.
So, even though, ultimately, your wife is statistically likely to live longer than you are, the happier your relationship is, the longer you will live, too.
Happy spouse, happy house probably never rang more true.
Keith Dent is a writer, blogger, and certified empowerment coach. He’s the author of In the Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love.